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"War in the East. War in the West
Everywhere is War"

by Gary Girdhari

"I am not here to tickle your ears — to entertain you. I will talk to you frankly and honestly … The message is not a happy one, but it is the truth [as I see it], and time is always on the side of truth. (Ezra Taft Benson.)

"Mr [Abdul] Sattar [Pakistan Foreign Minister] yesterday rejected a request by the Indian government to hand over 20 alleged terrorists living in Pakistan, and said their extradition would only be considered if India produced evidence of their guilt." (Guardian Unlimited 01/02/02.) Is this not the exact response that the Taliban gave when asked to turn in Osama bin Laden? Yes, but they did not turn him in, and shortly after, the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan (not bin Laden). Would India likewise start bombing Pakistan on a similar scale?

"There was no let up yesterday in hostilities across the line of control that divides the two countries. Four Pakistani soldiers were killed in exchanges of mortar and machine gun fire across the border at Nowshahra, Indian officials said. Indian troops also destroyed nine Pakistani bunker positions after coming under attack, officials claimed." And the Pakistani military said they would meet force with equal force.

Jaswant Singh, India's Foreign Minister and his Pakistani counterpart met in Kathmandu, Nepal. In fact, they lodged at the same hotel Everest, and the hope is there will be some negotiated easing of the military buildup on both sides of the border. The tension has grown to alarming proportion, such that the British main lapdog is visiting India (having consulted with his counterpart George Bush) in the hope of preventing a full-scale war. (How can a warmonger go on a "peace trip"? Talk about a contradiction in terms!) One may ask: Why this overt pre-occupation over a possible India/Pakistan war? Is it because of the potential of a trigger happy General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, or the radicalism of Hindu fundamentalist chauvinists in India? A major war between these "blood brothers" will be prolonged, and has the potential for nuclear cataclysm. Of course, markets will be upset and trade disrupted. Is this the reason for concern? But this is the subject for another time, although it seems that global capitalism must be protected at all cost — either by decimating a [weak] country or by cajoling [strong] ones. Sweet-talk always has a role in diplomacy as recent "worldwide consensus" for the Afghan war demonstrated that thirty pieces of silver can go a long way (especially in India and Pakistan where this precious metal is cherished!). Actually, Britain and the U.S. need both India and Pakistan as allies for geo-political positioning in the Caspian Sea/Balkan/Middle East nexus. The access to free land and air movement is in their self-interest. All of which make sense for the "peace trip". And what about China with its own mobilization of its military might!

While "mad scientists" are trying their utmost and competing to perfect cloning so as to prolong and save lives, other mad men are competing for world hegemony using their killer instinct.

Our dark sinister world is closing in on us. We are living in deep [….], probably the doomsday end-time of modern civilization. And all the leaders, including the churches, are conspicuous only by their silence. A few may offer the clichéd approbation of concern at the social decay of our civilization… but only a few call the spade a spade. Even the Pope in his New Year Message vacillated in his half-hearted etiolated condemnation of violence and terrorism. Is he under the shadow of the global politics? Now South Africa elder statesman Nelson Mandela is back-stepping: "… we are insensitive to and uncaring about the suffering inflicted upon the Afghan people." Probably he has recognized that "They're just taking the entire community and painting them in one brushstroke…." In its own lacuna, the UN, not yet recovered from the exalted euphoria of dynamite Nobel, and also from the trauma of orchidectomy or vasectomy, is undergoing practiced diapause that is not elicited on a circanial rhythm necessarily.

It's all a show anyway! The leaders, politicians especially, well groomed sartorially and with delicately matching hairpiece (or implants) or blending dyed hair, pretend that they do not know the camera is operating. In the face of the utmost calamity, they are able, quite adeptly, to smile just enough so as not to expose more wrinkles than necessary. And they get away with it! Drama 101 must be a pre-requisite for such leaders! And war that destroys countries and devastates human families is so clinical nowadays. We do not see the blood, the gory disfigurement of bodies, limbs blown to pieces — and death — death to so many, because we want to protect them! Does it not look like a computer novelty as the TV broadcasts peddle the "new game"? The broadcaster with a benign, simple, well-rehearsed smile? Coinage of ineffectual verbiage with none of the horrifying images — such as soft targets, collateral damage — is less morbid to the viewer whose sensibility is not traumatized to the point of protest against the cruelty perpetuated on humanity. Did we not observe how TV programming continues as usual as though nothing untoward is happening? That all is hale, hearty and hunky-dory? We must always learn the lessons of history. And the lessons of Vietnam are well taken.

When war is fought, who wins and who loses? See what happened(s) in Yugoslavia? In Iraq? In Afghanistan? Let's wait for the India/Pakistan war — will it happen?

Now "Israeli Defense officials are participating with their American counterparts in preparation for a possible U.S. military operation against Iraq. This operation primarily aims at toppling the Iraqi government, according to a report by Israeli daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, Wednesday, January 2, 2002. According to Israeli security sources participating in Israeli preparations for a possible American move on Iraq, any decision by U.S. President, George W. Bush, about when to attack Iraq depends on three main elements: building a case against Saddam, identifying an alternative ruler to replace Saddam, and building up the forces that will execute the planned attack, the paper reported." Who will win in this one when its starts? Already we know what sanctions have done to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children? After this, will there be bombing of the Palestinian people into oblivion — to end it forever? Will it be Somalia next — to wipe out the Al Qa'eda network?

Will it ever stop? Based on the current paradigm of superpower hegemony, there seems to be no end, no closure, no finality… just as bacteria have the capability to mutate after repeated drug administration, and come back over and over, threatening "The Coming Plague" — unless we allow for the "common good" to be the benchmark in our personal and global relationships.

By definition the logic of war — death and destruction as concomitants — is wrong and incompatible with all that philosophers and religion strive for, particularly in our modern civilization. The clear short-term victory and gain do not guarantee long-term cohesion for justice and prolonged peace. Indeed as noted elsewhere, we may be working out the details of our Armageddon, and what is going on now is merely a dress rehearsal.

Let's look at a little statistics on the Afghan landscape. There is an estimate of at least 10,000 unexploded landmines littering the landscape. Each one was sold for $3.00. It costs $1000 - $3000 to disable each one. But before this is done thousands of individuals, mostly children, will be maimed, crippled or killed by the landmines. Must we harbor such callous disregard for humanity?

Robert Oppenheimer was moved to quote from the Bhagvat Gita when the first atomic bomb was tested, and he, like many others, was amazed at the immense power to destroy when the bomb was ceremonially dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6, 1945. When India tested it atomic bomb at Pokhran, one scientist recalled the story of Lord Krishna lifting a hill. Such is the extraordinary experience of front seat view. It was reported that when India's bomb was detonated in the earth, the heat generated was approximately one million degrees centigrade. Nothing is hotter. Nothing survives in this. The earth moves. The dust blocks out the sun. This was only a test. In a real nuclear war with 'mad men' in control and with bigger bombs, the enormity is outside our concept of anything imaginable.

The bigger bomb is intended to wipe out the enemy (e.g., India wants to wipe out Pakistan, or vice versa) one is protected from the wrath of the other. In reality, are the people really protected? Countries are destroyed in the process. The infrastructure is rendered useless for many years (cf. Afghanistan, Vietnam). More valuable resources are diverted for the "war effort", leaving less for human resources and development. We are then asked to make sacrifices. The people, including the soldiers suffer, while the fat cats and big shots are protected. In fact the latterly may receive huge gratuity and pension, and cop a Nobel Prize for peace (sic).

When angry men are on a "crusade" for a 'holy war', when they boast about nuclear capability, and hold independence day parade to "show off" their toys of destruction, humanity is threatened. A country can never survive, much less win, a nuclear war, which is what the leaders of India and Pakistan are telling their people. People will be killed on both sides and will become part of the earth they are trying so hard to protect and own. Those within the blast area will be pulverized into dust. Plants, trees, the forest will burn intensely. Rivers, lakes, streams will boil, and aquatic life will cease. Water will be polluted from the death and decay. The air will be fiercely hot, killing birds, insects and indeed all other life forms. With such nuclear blasts, there will be accompanying clouds of dust and smoke obliterating the rays of the sun. After days, weeks, months and even years (no one knows), eventually, there is a blanket of darkness and cold. Nothing survives, except roaches, leaders (in their protective bunkers) and other vermins. Those outside the perimeter would be happier if they had died, for they would be burned, crippled, or would develop cancers. The darkness would prevent photosynthesis in plants. Thus no food. No life. In other words there will be total annihilation and extinction, just like the dinosaurs. Ingesting iodine pills or hiding in basements will not protect anyone from a nuclear war, as we are naïvely told and gullible to believe.

Politicians say that nuclear buildup is for deterrence so as to maintain peace. The logic says that they dare not start a nuclear war for all of the above consequences. How then is it a deterrence when it cannot be used? Isn't it a waste of our money that is being diverted to contractors of military hardware?

Are we living in denial — the most insidious form of insincerity — when we invoke the name of God, and make believe that God is on our side, approving and blessing our actions? Or have our minds become so trained, warped and accustomed to thinking that we are right all the time and doing the right thing through God's grace?

Is it going to stop? It is not going to stop unless and until we, the people of the world, tell them to stop, to stop the nonsense.

"Truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly being preached round about us." (Goethe)

No More Bombs!
Blessed are the Peace Makers

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